DIRECTOR Geoff Meed STARS Luke Barnett; Casey Campbell; Devin Clark DVD 18 June
Not to be confused with The Amityville Horror, but yes, an addition to the unofficial franchise set in this house most haunted. This time, it’s a found-footage story, the marketing pushing the concept literally. It is unfortunate that this instantly draws comparison to Paranormal Activity, not helped by the use of security system cameras within the home. Also unfortunate is that The Amityville Haunting does not stand up to this comparison.
Told entirely in POV format — save the aforementioned CCTV — courtesy of a budding filmmaker in Tyler, the son of the Benson family, the house’s latest victims, the film is a somewhat exasperating experience. Cliches abound, as does overkill, doors opening of their own accord almost instantly, accompanied by the sound of breathing. The characters are immensely irritating due to a lack of rapport between the actors, resulting in no interaction other than general tetchiness; hardly conducive to any sympathy for a fate we are certain of. A daily summary of activities by Tyler was a fairly good idea, a natural thing for his character to feel the need to do, but a poor choice of actor — youth is not an excuse — ruins this.
And yet, a wound-up tension is impressed without you noticing, making for genuine surprise in this viewer on finding herself a little jolted when the patriarch of the family finally snaps. An assumption on the outcome from here proves incorrect, also a pleasant surprise. This makes for reasonably effective final scenes as we finally view the Bensons’ demise. It is a pity that this is not quite enough to make up for what feels a waste of time approaching it.